Friday, January 06, 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever

The Alchemy of Forever
Avery Williams
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

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After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's him again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?
*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

Reincarnation has always been an iffy subject for me. I'm not easily interested or impressed with it. I can happily say that the Alchemy of Forever is by far the best reincarnation story I have ever read (though I haven't read that many - but still it was awesome!). In The Alchemy of Forever, when Seraphina dies next to Cyrus, the man who was to take her hand, he gives her a drop of Alchemy potion he's discovered, that allows Seraphina to attach her soul to another body. She can now live forever jumping from body to body. How cool is that?

What would you do if one day, you were suddenly in someone else's body? Living someone else's life. Someone you have never met, with a family and friends, classes and hobbies. Well... fake it 'til you make it! And that's exactly what Sera did! This premise, to me, is extremely fascinating. We've all wondered what it would be like to live someone else's life at one point or another. It was very interesting, and often amusing, to watch Sera go through this. The girl has never even gone to school! And now she's supposed to act like a normal 16 year old!? It was great! I was completely engrossed in it from the very first page. Sera is a fabulous protagonist who is extremely brave. I loved everything about her: her personality, her voice, even her name - Seraphina - it's so chic, isn't it?

Trying to get Seraphina back, Cyrus will go to great lengths. He's the ultimate villain with the ultimate weapon: immortality. How can you escape someone who can not only live forever, but can LOOK like ANYONE? He can take any body he chooses. And he's the type who will do anything to get what he wants. He kills mercilessly, and forgives no one. No wonder Sera escaped him! But, as you can surely guess, she sees him again.

The writing is excellent, the pacing is perfect, the romance is wonderful, and the end is heartbreaking. There is nothing I disliked about this book. Even the killer cliffhanger is extremely interesting (and what's funny is I sort of expected it, but it still shocked me!). With most books you can often guess where the story is going to go after a cliffhanger, but this time I have absolutely no clue what Avery is planning for us. I'm positive that it will be gripping and surely full of emotions. However, I may not get to read it, because I may die waiting.

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